Peonies forum→Starting Peonies From Seed: Outdoor Methods In the Northern Climates

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Name: Tracey
Midwest (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Tomato Heads Pollen collector Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Cat Lover
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Photography Seed Starter Region: Wisconsin
Jan 26, 2017 2:58 PM CST


Sew seeds outdoors as soon as they are ripe in early fall, or whenever the seed pod splits open.

Prepare a well drained, fertile seedbed outside. Remove seeds from seed pod and in unfrozen ground, plant the seeds in a row a few inches apart. Gently indent finger into soil, place seed in hole and cover with soil. Document or mark accordingly. Cover with dry fluffed up straw mulch. Cover straw with plastic to keep the straw DRY. Cover that with more straw to prevent heating. The idea is to postpone growth until April. Remove plastic and straw in late March/April.

Seedlings can be moved, disturbing as little of the root as possible, after the first year of growth. They may be set back a bit but giving the surviving seedlings enough space for its root system is essential.

There are many variations on starting peonies. The easiest and often most over looked is to simply press the seeds into the soil near the edge of parent plant in the fall just like in nature. The other methods all have their advantages and challenges. Challenges that faced have been critters eating the seeds, mostly mice from the surrounding fields and woodlands or squirrels digging up the newly germinated seedlings.

*Information sources include Bill Seidl, Harvey Buchite (Hidden Springs Flower Farm) and Nate Bremer (Solaris Farms)

Thumb of 2017-01-26/magnolialover/6a9414
Photo credit: Harvey Buchite of Hidden Springs Flower Farm
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Dragonflies Butterflies Bulbs Birds Bee Lover
Annuals Irises Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader
Jan 26, 2017 9:58 PM CST


I've not covered them with plastic but otherwise I did mine basically the same as your instructions, Tracey. So far, so good--or at least they were last fall!
Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Roses Birds Tropicals Hummingbirder Bulbs
Region: Georgia Lilies Irises Peonies Clematis Plumerias
Jan 27, 2017 6:02 AM CST

Thanks for sharing this information and making it a sticky!
"Aspire to inspire before you expire"

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